In-Center Hemodialysis

In-center hemodialysis

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. A licensed healthcare professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

In-center hemodialysis is an option for kidney disease patients who choose to get treatment at a dialysis unit in a clinical setting or a hospital, rather than performing dialysis at home. If you choose in-center hemodialysis as your therapy option, you may need to visit the clinic or hospital 3-4 times per week for approximately 4 hours each time.

In-center hemodialysis - How does it work?

Hemodialysis (HD) is a process by which excess fluids and toxins are mechanically filtered from the blood when the kidneys can't perform properly. During your treatment, you sit or lie next to a hemodialysis machine in a clinical setting. A nurse or technician places two needles into a vein in your forearm. This is called an "access". One needle is connected to tubing, which takes your blood out of your body to be cleaned and pumped by a machine through a dialyzer. All your blood is filtered through the dialyzer several times. At the end of treatment, the blood goes back into your body through tubing attached to the other needle.

Is in-center hemodialysis right for you?

Some patients choose in-center hemodialysis because it requires treatment 3-4 days per week rather than every day. Others, however, prefer the comfort and convenience of hemodialysis at home because it requires no travel, and you can have the same care partner helping you every time.

In-Center Hemodialysis

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Nurses and technicians perform treatment for you
  • Regular contact with other hemodialysis patients and staff
  • Usually three treatments per week; four days off
  • No equipment/supplies kept at home
  • Medical help is available quickly in an emergency
  • Travel to center three times a week on a fixed schedule
  • Permanent access required, usually in your arm
  • Insertion of two needles for each treatment
  • Restricted diet/limited fluid intake
  • Runs some risk of infection
  • Possible discomfort like headache, nausea, leg cramps, tiredness